Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Top Ten Reasons Why the Emergency Room is No Fun

1. There's always a kid with a rash or pus draining from an ear who, while feeling less unwell than he should, zig-zags around breathing on you.

2. It's always too cold.

3. There are always things that beep. Incessantly. At a level loud enough to cause hearing damage.

4. There are never enough people to respond to the beeping.

5. Somewhere in one of those little rooms is probably a person who has stopped breathing.

6. The words, "code blue" will inevitably be broadcast over the P.A. system.

7. The place always seems like it could be a tad bit cleaner.

8. There's always a baby crying. And crying. And crying.

9. You forgot to bring that thing (list of meds, doctor's number, cord for the iPad or cell phone) that you swore you'd remember to bring.

10. You're there. And someone you love is there. Oh, wait--that beats the hell out of being there alone.

So first of all, things are relatively okay here in Margaritaville. My mom suffered an attack of diverticulitis last evening and after five hours at the hospital was ultimately given a couple shots of morphine and sent home  with antibiotics. She's feeling somewhat better. I, being a bit of a germaphobe, am waiting to come down with whatever dread disease that kid had. I'm sure I'll be fine if  I keep washing my hands every five minutes.

Now about that "alone" business. I am finding it rather daunting these days to realize that if/when there is a crisis with my mom,  I will most probably be dealing with it alone. And if something bad comes my way, she, too, will have to face that alone--at least for the first few hours. That "in sickness and in health" clause that's packaged with the marriage vows is one hell of a fringe benefit.

"I'm alone," the weeping woman said last night. "I don't have anyone. I came here by ambulance." She was in an ER room across the hall, sobbing and sobbing while the nurse asked her questions. While I sat next to my mom, I concocted the many scenarios that brought the woman to the Emergency Room where she had no one by her side.


Elizabeth said...

The way you're writing of this new experience of caring for your mom is wonderful -- my first impulse on reading this entry is to jump in the car and head north to help you out when the going gets rough. Seriously!

Ms. Moon said...

God. No one should have to be in the ER alone. Ever.
You won't be. Somehow I know you won't.

Mel said...

Thank goodness it was something treatable with antibiotics and not something requiring surgery. Your observations are chilling. There aren't many places worse than an emergency room, or many feelings worse than alone. I'm with Mary, I don't see you alone there some day either.